When I finished NaNoWriMo, I was 50,000 words deep into the novel, but it wasn’t done. I decided to keep setting word goals for December and January, in the spirit of NaNoWriMo: 1,000 words per day, excluding weekends, or 20,000 words per month.
I managed to hit that target for December, crossing 70,000 words on New Year’s Eve.
Work on the novel has suffered since then. I came down with the flu on Sunday, wiping out my chance of making progress for most of this week. I’m hoping to make up some words this weekend, but I’ll still need to crank up my average if I’m going to hit 90K by the end of this month.
Fortunately, I feel like I’ve turned a corner in terms of the writing itself. The end of the novel is close, close enough for me to start seeing it pretty clearly.
My main problem at the moment – other than the daily battle at starting to write, which always seems harder than it should be – is wanting to rushing toward the conclusion, skipping details and plotlines just to reach the end.
To help combat this tendency, I’ve been using the day’s word count as both motivator – get those words down, or else – and forced breather, a way to trick myself into writing a lot more than I want about scenes that I’m itching to skip over, scenes that often turn out to be very important.
My hope – my goal, rather – is that this month’s 20,000 words are the novel’s last, and that I’ll be able to write THE END by Jan 31st. that way I can use February to work on something else, and gain enough distance from this novel to come back to it in March and edit it into something worth reading.